I don’t run.
I have always looked at people who are running and thought, “What the hell are you running from?”.
Call me judgemental, call me what you will but I have always maintained that it doesn’t look very enjoyable.
“Why the hate-on?”, you may ask? I’m really not sure myself. Maybe it is just habit. Something that speaks to me from when I was much younger. Days in elementary school, dreading gym class because I knew that I was crap at running. I hated things that I was not good at. I didn’t need to be made to feel any more of a failure physically than I already felt. I had a few friends that I fit in with. Looking from the outside, I was included, but it felt like work. Hard, continuous, ominous work. Like my personality needed to be tended like a garden. Cultivated, and trained to be the right way, every day. ‘Don’t drop that mask…they won’t like what they see. So you sure as hell don’t want the humiliation of not performing well. Just stick to what you do well.’ My daily mantra.
I had heard someone say in my youth that I was lazy and even fat (which, I now realize was hateful and untrue). If you hear it often enough, you will believe it to your core. So running… nuh-uh, nope, not an option for me. Can’t do it.
Fast forward 20 years and elementary school is faded like an old photograph. One where I can no longer make out faces or feelings to go with them. I can no longer visualize who stands next to who and more importantly, why. I have built back my inner child, one peice at a time. Like a china doll that was once shattered, I am feeling whole. I am loved, I can give love and I can do anything.
So, I suppose the natural order is to turn a corner and suddenly be staring down that old enemy. I was out walking in the pristine, early morning sunshine the other day – my weekly respite in the morning from children (thank you lovely husband). I felt so full of energy and joy that I just started running. I ran out a full song (thank you iPod), then caught my breath only to find myself running again. Huh. Well, holy crap. This is fun. I started to speculate ridiculous shaming things like, maybe it is easier now because I am not as heavy (hello, you were never overweight!) or maybe I have better shoes, stronger legs. Yep, keep talking self, because you know you are full of it! Truth is, whether you think you can or think you can’t, you are probably right (thanks Henry Ford for the perfect words).
How many things have I talked myself out of over the years because they were equally as daunting? How sad to have missed this enjoyment because of limitations set by the words of others. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not going to be enrolling in running workshops and running marathons anytime soon (I like dancing WAY too much to spend my free time running) but at least it is an option. A great way to exercise when on vacation or I just need a good calorie burn.
There may be days yet when I feel too heavy (both physically and spiritually), too tired, too chicken to go out in the rain. But my decision not to run will never again be made by that little voice. It holds no value. It has no tenacity. I have lived enough beyond the reach of its power to know the truth. My truth. And in that, I am set free.